The U.S. land grant university
system was originally established
to serve the needs of the people.
Today, more than ever before,
land grant institutions such as the
University of Florida and its Insti-
tute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences (UF/IFAS) must provide
leadership in helping Florida deal
with major issues. These issues
include environmental quality,
economic development and
human and natural resource
utilization and protection.
UF/IFAS must develop pest
management (IPM) programs to
address new exotic plant pests
and disease problems which
require less pesticide use. These
programs must also preserve a
$5.7 billion agricultural industry
through sustained profitability and
reduced environmental impacts.
Non-chemical control of plant
pests and diseases will reduce
human, wildlife and water re-
source risks. Programs will target
crop protection systems, urban
plant management and protection
of natural areas.
Food Safety and Quality
UF/IFAS programs will identify
critical issues involved in providing
for the safe production, processing
and marketing of high quality
seafood and other meats and
vegetables. These programs will
transfer food safety technology to
the marketplace to protect and
enhance the economic viability of
Florida's food industries and
provide for safety and satisfaction
Sustainable Water Resources -
Through Florida LAKEWATCH,
UF/IFAS conducts citizen volun-
teer lake-monitoring programs on
over 400 lakes in 40 Florida
counties. The demand for the
program is so great that residents
living on more than 100 additional
lakes are asking to be added to
the program. LAKEWATCH trains
citizens to collect valuable water
quality data while at the same
time, educates them about the
ecology of their lake.
Youth and Family Development
UF/IFAS programs will focus on
youth, resource management and
nutrition. Our goals include reduc-
ing numbers of low birthweight
infants, improving nutrition and
health and reducing juvenile crime
and school dropout rates.
Developing Sustainable Rural
UF/IFAS will assist rural com-
munities in identifying and taking
advantage of local development
opportunities. rural communities
need assistance in developing
alternative, sustainable sources of
No organization or institution is
more qualified to lead Florida in
addressing our future than UF/
IFAS. This issue of IMPACT
outlines some of our programs
that serve the needs of Floridians.
L- L. *..... .
"' :'i .
I M f'.ii^,,,,
Research Team is First
BELLE GLADE-UF/IFAS scien-
tists have successfully genetically engi-
neered lettuce for enhanced production.
The research team, including lettuce
breeder Russell Nagata, molecular ge-
neticist Rob Ferl, tissue culturist Anto-
nio Torres and weed scientists Joan
Dusky and Thomas Bewick, has worked
on the project for more than four years.
They unveiled their test plot of 2,800
genetically engineered lettuce plants
this winter at UF/IFAS Research and
Education Center in Belle Glade.
Although scientists have genetically
engineered and field-tested other crops,
including cotton, soybeans, tomatoes
and squash, this was the first time that
a leafy vegetable was field-tested, says
Ferl of UF's horticultural sciences de-
partment. The research could have a
major impact on other types of veg-
etables as well.
The lettuce was genetically engi-
neered to make it resistant to the herbi-
cide glyphosate, commonly known to
growers as "Roundup."
UF/IFAS scientists genetically trans-
formed South Bay lettuce, a crisphead
variety commonly used in Florida pro-
duction on organic soils, Nagata said.
The South Bay variety encompasses 70
percent of the Florida lettuce market.
Presently farmers are forced to hire
workers to hand-hoe their lettuce fields,
Ferl said. "Besides being very expensive,
it hurts the lettuce crop because the hoes
unavoidably damage the lettuce while
removing the weeds."
Before the UF/IFAS research began,
registered lettuce herbicides did only a
"moderate to poor" job of weed control,
Nagatasaid. With this breakthrough, grow-
ers may one day spray glyphosate directly
on the lettuce without hurting plants.
Biophysicist Paul Sehnke, left, and molecu-
lar geneticist Robert Ferl. Photo by Milt
That May Fight Cancer
GAINESVILLE-While American to-
bacco growers have been hurt from the
links of tobacco to cancer, UF/IFAS scien-
tists have discovered that they one day may
be able to fight cancer with tobacco crops.
Researchers here have genetically engi-
neered a tobacco plant that can produce
ricin, a compound that destroys cells and
offers tremendous therapeutic possibilities
for cancer and HIV-infected patients.
In its natural form, ricin is extremely
toxic, and since the discovery of the ricin
gene 10 years ago, there have been many
efforts by pharmaceutical companies and
research centers nationwide to use it to kill
"The difficulty has been getting ricin to
kill only the cancer cells and not other non-
infected cells, said Robert Ferl of UF/IFAS
horticultural sciences department. "But one
of the things you can do with genetic engi-
neering is modify the way ricin is produced
and design it to only attack specific cells
-making a better therapeutic."
Many scientists have tried to genetically
engineer ricin over the years, said UF/IFAS
biologist Paul Sehnke, but none have been
successful until the UF/IFAS discovery.
"We are the first to introduce the ricin
gene into tobacco via bacteria and produce
plants that process the ricin into a com-
plete and active form," Sehnke said.
Lettuce breeder Russell Nagata. Photo by Milt Putnam
DJDJJS TJJD PJ
Professor Evelyn Rooks-Weir, left, looks through a book with Tambria Williams, her
sister, Tamika Williams, right, and their brother Darius. Photo by Milt Putnam
By Jennifer L. Kennedy
At 26 years old and with two chil-
dren, Deldra Smith has no other place to go for
now. But she hopes with a little more educa-
tion and a good paying job, she will one day be
able to leave the low Income housing unit she
now lives in.
As a single, unemployed parent receiv-
ing government assistance, Smith can at-
test that it often seems impossible to break
the cycle of poverty.
With drug dealers lurking on the street
comers and no safe place for children to
play, Smith and other residents of Semi-
nary Lane in Gainesville welcomed a help-
ing hand. While skeptics may charge that
it is hopeless to wage war against poverty,
programs at the University of Florida's In-
stitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
have made change possible. Evelyn Rooks-
Weir is one of the many UF/IFAS experts
battling to put an end to Florida's dismal
youth statistics, using both her professional
and volunteer time.
Two years ago, along with other Exten-
sion experts, Rooks-Weir helped introduce
"Florida Communities Care for Children,
Youth and Families." This UF/IFAS pilot
program works with individuals and orga-
nizations to improve the lives of children.
"This program's goal is to empower par-
ents to control their destiny and their
children's," Rooks-Weir said. "If people
know how to improve their situation, they
usually will do so."
Ron Larris checks out a tire on his bicycle in front of the Seminary Lane housing development.
Photo by Milt Putnum
From a volunteer perspective, Rooks-
Weir has joined with the Gainesville Hous-
ing Authority, 4-H, Scouting, schools and
church volunteers to develop public private
partnerships that are needed to address the
critical youth and family issues in Seminary
Lane, a neighborhood of limited resource
families that is located in a community
where drugs are prevalent.
Such partnerships are the most
cost effective way to improve the lives of
children, Rooks-Weir said.
"This neighborhood has the same char-
acteristics as other neighborhoods, such as
community pride," said Rooks-Weir, an as-
sociate professor of human development.
"They just don't have the same resources."
After school activities and adult-educa-
tion classes now exist where there once
were none for the more than 50 families in
Seminary Lane, thanks to the efforts ofUF/
IFAS experts dedicated to sustaining the
future of children and youth.
Living in poverty puts children in jeop-
ardy at every stage of their lives, Rooks-
Weir said. With poverty comes an increased
need for public assistance, poor health and
more social turmoil.
Currently, Florida ranks 39th among the
50 states and the District of Columbia in
the percent of children living in poverty.
Almost half a million Florida children
live in families that receive Aid to Fami-
lies with Dependent Children, according
to "Florida Kids Count 1994: A Report on
the Status of Florida's Children."
The 4-H youth development program is
UF's major outreach education program
that focuses its energies on the needs of
impoverished youth, as well as the broad
set of issues impacting all youth of our state.
Currently, the statewide 4-H program
serves more than 265,000 of Florida's 2.1
million school-aged children.
"As a land grant university, our mission is
to develop and deliver educational programs
that help create positive, nurturing environ-
ments for our young citizens," said Sue Fisher,
D.J. Larris, 6, Patrick Jackson, 10, and
Ron Larris, 9, play outside at Seminary
Lane. Photo by Milt Putnam
assistant dean for the UF/
IFAS statewide 4-H youth de-
velopment program. "Youth
need both educational expe-
riences and caring relation-
ships over sustained periods to
grow and achieve normal de-
County Extension 4-H
faculty join with university
based Extension specialists to
create experiential learning
opportunities, Fisher said.
"We use research-based
information so youth and
their families have access to
the latest information about
nutrition, the environment,
plants and animal care, as
well as future career and citi-
"County faculty also re-
cruit and train community
volunteers and parents be-
cause of the vital roles these
adults play in providing the
type of consistent and sus-
tained relationships that are
critical to the young person's
emotional and intellectual
development," Fisher said.
But many of today's youth
do not have the support of
stable families and/or neigh- Deidra Smith
bors. of extension e
"The forces impacting Milt Putnam
the family, be it the larger
number of single parent
headed households, the increased per-
centage of families with both parents
employed outside the home, or the
greater tendency of families to be mo-
bile, have strained the ability of parents
and their local commu cities to estab-
lish an environment where youth aspi-
rations can be nurtured and successes re-
alized," said Bo Beaulieu, rural
sociologist with the 4-H youth develop-
"Quality interactions between parents
and their children can have a tremendous
impact on how youth do academically,"
Beaulieu said. "Like families, communities
also can play a critical role by taking a genu-
ine and active interest in the activities of
In research from last four years, Beaulieu
and his colleagues found that young people
and her children, Daniel and Decoya, have welc
experts who are working to break the cycle of pove
who emerge from families and communities
where concern and interest in the well -being
of children are strong, have less than a 2-per-
cent chance of dropping out of high school.
On the other hand, over 53 percent of
young people with families and communi-
ties who are indifferent to their needs and
concerns are likely to end up being high-
"What these findings make quite clear
is that the success of our children is not
simply a family matter, but a community
issue as well," Beaulieu said. "The com-
munity must recognize the complemen-
tary role that they need to play in help-
ing parents successfully raise their
Schools, too, are important partners
in the total array of community institu-
tions dealing with the development of
children and youth, and
they are often hard pressed
to meet the challenges of
and teachers continually
search for ways to better link
their educational efforts
Beaulieu said. In one
study of 167,000 6th to
12th-grade youth, 42 per-
cent reported that their par-
ents seldom or never help
with homework. In addi-
tion, 39 percent say parents
seldom or never attend
County extension agent
Nancy Torres brought 4-H
program expertise and
leadership to the local
high school to enrich a
The program, called 4-H
Challenge, targets students
described as "at risk" and is
designed to give them the
opportunity to work in the
community and boost their
)med the help said.
rty. Photo by "Every kid needs to have
a sense of belonging," Torres
said. "For one reason or an-
other, the kids we are work-
ing with didn't join band, football, soccer
or any other group. 4-H has made them feel
Although a dropout-prevention program
already existed in the high school for five
years prior to 4-H's intervention, Torres
said, "We just brought the resources of ex-
tension to their program."
Rooks-Weir agrees Extension pro-
grams are enormously important to com-
munities that lack education and eco-
nomic resources required for positive
youth development. She knows profes-
sionally as well as personally that suc-
cess in youth-development programming
has been achieved when a troubled little
boy tells her that she's "the best gal on
"Such compensation is hard to beat, "
she says with a smile.
Sustaining Florida's Yards,
Neighborhoods And Industries
Concerns over the use of chemicals and the safety of our environment
have sparked a new approach to the old problem of managing pests
By Michelle Moody
With more than 900 people a day moving to the Sunshine State,
scientists worry that Florida's environment may not sustain im-
proper pesticide and fertilizer use by homeowners that could con-
taminate groundwater and disrupt delicate coastal environments.
"Florida's environmental problems are different from those in
other states," said Mickie Swisher, an associate professor of home
economics at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. "We're all accustomed to the way we cared
for the green grass and plants we had in other parts of the country,
and we tend to bring those practices with us."
Although IPM may have its roots in agriculture, its use and
application have spread beyond the farm and into urban areas. By
teaching homeowners, as well as commercial industries,
common sense practices called environmental landscape manage-
ment (ELM), pronounced E L M, and integrated pest manage-
ment (IPM), designed to minimize water use, energy consump-
tion and pollution from excessive application of fertilizers and I
pesticides UF/IFAS scientists and Extension agents are increas-
ing the public's ability to save Florida's environment and make
the state more sustainable.
These programs evolved as entomologists and agricultural scien-
tists became concerned about the side effects of pesticides, such as
increased pest resistance to available chemicals, killing of non target
species and potential contamination of local waterways.
"The progression of IPM to the urban setting was logical," said
Michael Fitzner, national IPM coordinator with the U.S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. "Scientists working with Horticultmwal Geri (.,ihrion work wuah nursenes to lst least
agricultural IPM concepts quickly discovered that the principles toxic pest c. n orirl. Photo b Th, mas \Wnght
could be applied to the urban setting."
Florida's Gulf Coast
Coastal communities are indeed among the most environmen-
tally sensitive areas in the state because of the demands of the --
growing population and increasing stormwater runoff problems.
Not long ago, biologists from the National Estuary Program in
Washington, D.C., identified Tampa Bay as one of 27 estuaries in
the United States in need of protection.
UF/IIFAS sc ientits and Extenion .flcnt l
knew they needed to respond with a pro.
gram that % would provide simple houtieholld
solutions to complex problems.
"The Florida Yards and Florid.i Nigh-
borhods program, bring people t,,gether
to address pertinent issues, whilk pro\ id.
ing a sense ot community," aid Billie
Lotland, Florida Yards ind Florida Neigh-
borho'ods coordinator for HilIsborouih and
To date, hundreds of household- are in.
evolved in the program, which includes
Charlotte, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasc,',
Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
Neighborhoods, where resident .-ire
committed to improving the environmen.
tal quality of their communities, are paired
with UF/IFAS experts who help them put
ELM to wdk. Residents work indepen-
dently or.a- teams to iinpruve their yard,
and common neighborhood areas.
Projects.range from "greening up" comn
. muniy entrances to stenciling storm dr.iin-
to restoring parks and nature walkseni' ed
by all residents
Specify guidelines .re outlined for p.lr.
ticipating homeowners to conserve water
and energy, improve yards and ahoreline,.
and recycle household and \ard waste.
Part cipant- receive advice and in-truc-
ti.,n from C.,pi-r.ime Exteni..n Ser ice
agents 3nd volunteer-s \> h. train .ind .iiit
h.,in nmori with .ind-cape dJ.ein and
pr,, ide la n mintL- nice ops designed ti
ve mi, nel and natural rcsourc,-.
Estimates -ho\ thit proper I-ndsciapine
in Flohridi c.an reduce ho me energV uise by\
a, much as 30 percent LUsing recimmivnnded
irriea'.rion practice. c.im s.a e .b,,ut 30 per-
cent ofl iowtd r .Hiter u,:. hulc -a\ ino-. tf
75 to 80 percent can he chief % ed trom re.
ind usilrle pr>_per irriga on techniques-
"MN..n net Fl, ndian- try ti dir-' their ntu-
rail\ sand\ ,ill bv planting popular grae.-e,"
.uid Allen Garner. FI.rnd i Yards coirdina-
tir r I.r l.natee and Saras-,ta counties "\\e
promn ite I nd-cape-s %' ith nanti .'et.tiion
becai.-,e nce natie plints are cet.rbli-h.d
in the ri4hr lioc.itn.n, mot require little, it'
.,n\, -ipplement % i n cr, trrili:cr- s r pe-.
ic ide, "
The Interior Landscape
Think o.i the in-i t ,t1 i building .1- i. one
l.iree ereenhouiiii In iddiriin ti hl.lpinm
hlime I ner-, LiF/IF.AS -cicnri-r ,ire en-
Ciur.tiil buhl-.ini--l. [i id idpr ELM .ind
Ho I-chminh Q torntitp/ant nuing in ag h ini Lii .L -a.WI -' i hcnuical-.
W 'and a f2tigua ivere iised'rt bIolog~i~gcally i iumol ic haro i ii / thni p-, ichhkh ..r1l 11imir
A- -M4Lto0e5. Photo bv Mlilt Puistm
-' Is ~~g 4n
IPM practices for interior landscaping, such
as atria in hotels.
Liz Felter, a horticulturalist with Orange
County Extension, has been working with
hotels and businesses to find the least toxic
way to control indoor pest problems.
"Using predatory insects, instead of
chemicals, to control pests is ideal for use
in offices and hotel suites because they do
not bother plants, people or animals," she
Before joining the Extension staff, Felter
was interior landscape supervisor for a large
Orlando hotel. The interior hotel site in-
cluded nearly 6,000 plants representing 85
"We used IPM to control plant pests in
the hotel's atria," she said. About every two
weeks Felter and her staff released benefi-
cial predators onto four 15-foot, wide
canopy ficus trees in one of the atria to
control citrus mealybugs.
Success did not happen overnight. "This
trial and error method took about a year to
figure out and establish into a viable pro-
gram," she said.
Felter encourages hotels and other busi-
nesses with indoor atria or plants to use
IPM. But she also cautions that IPM is not
a cure-all solution.
"Using IPM as an alternative to pesti-
cides is not going to be cheap or require
less work," Felter said. "You're trading ex-
pertise and experience for chemicals, but
the benefits are you aren't exposed to pes-
ticides, target species don't build up resis-
tance to predators and applications can be
done anytime, day or night."
Concerns about health, the environ-
ment and the increasing resistance of
pests to chemicals have forced people to
reconsider practices they once took for
"Without pesticides there would be no
commercial nursery industry in Florida,"
said UF/IFAS entomologist Lance
Osborne. "We must, however, manage
them more effectively so they are not lost
to environmental concerns or, worse, to
Osborne, of UF's Central Florida Re-
search and Education Center in Apopka,
searches for ways to naturally control in-
sects that prey on commercial nursery and
Henry Young, a UF dental professor and
LAKEWATCH volunteer, completes a
water test from his boat on Lake Santa Fe.
"We have to take care of what we have,"
Young says. Photo by Thomas Wright
newsletter. Only three states, Florida, Min-
nesota and Wisconsin, monitor over 400
While Florida LAKEWATCH now sets
the pace for the nation, it had fledgling
roots. Early on, it didn't even have a name.
Canfield, a UF/IFAS limnologist, was
testing lake-water quality on a small scale.
But with 100,000 freshwater lakes in the
state, Canfield was unable to collect
enough data by himself. As he sampled for
his own research, however, he met many
citizens who lived on lakes and loved their
water. They also wanted some scientific
information. Eventually, people got hold of
his name and their calls began to trickle
into his office. Many asked what they could
do to help, so he put them to work sam-
pling their own lakes every month.
Until now, Canfield said, research data
for Florida lakes was scarce. Most textbooks
were written with information collected
from the Northern states, and a lot of it
obviously didn't apply to Florida, a much
"We had no idea what was going on with
the population of our lakes," Canfield said.
"By getting citizens involved, it became a
way of getting research information for us,
and at the same time a way of helping them
understand the science."
Training and monitoring started on Lake
Broward in butnam County in 1984, and
then on Alachua County's Lake Santa Fe
in 1985. In 1991, LAKEWATCH was offi-
cially create by the Florida Legislature.
Educatiqn is Key
To ProgLam's Success
At the heart of LAKEWATCH is educa-
tion, said Sahdy Fisher, a former physics in-
structor and LAKEWATCH volunteer who
now serves as the program's field director.
Fisher travels the state meeting with in-
dividuals any groups to teach them how to
perform specific tests on the lake water,
including tets for nutrients, algae and clar-
ity. This information tells researchers the
age" or trobhic state of the lake. Volun-
teers collect samples monthly and send
them "by hcok or by crook," to Canfield's
lab at UF/IEAS' fisheries and aquatic sci-
ences office in Gainesville. There they are
stored in wilk-in freezers until tests have
been complEted. More than 100,000 analy-
ses are done each year.
"We try tb get a background level for the
lakes, to discern what's normal and then,
to monitor. any changes," Fisher said.
"We're playing catch-up ball here. Lakes
are always (hanging and we should have
had that data 30 years ago."
Publicity for LAKEWATCH is high.
Fisher publishes a seasonal newsletter to
communicate with volunteers, but "we're
maxed out with too many people," who
want training, Fisher said.
Volunteers are taught on their own lakes
and come from as far north as Pensacola
and as far south as Palm Beach County.
They hail from all walks of life, from re-
tired professors to folks that have no sci-
ence training at all.
"We've got people 80 years old and
people in their 20s," Fisher said. "Some
people like to do their tests with their kids."
Their common thread, she says, "is that
they really care about the water's quality.
To protect something is very important to
Henry Young, a UF dental professor, lives
on Lake Santa Fe and has been a
LAKEWATCH volunteer for several years.
He trained with Fisher and said learning
to test was easy. Although his schedule is
demanding, Young, like many other vol-
unteers, sees his time monitoring the lake
"I wanted to do whatever I could to pro-
tect Florida's outstanding waterways," said
Young. "We have an obligation not to pol-
lute our lakes and to protect them. We have
to take care of what we have."
Volunteer dedication has surprised even
Canfield. Drop-out rates are low. "I really
didn't think the citizens would stay that
committed," he said. "They are becoming
experts unto themselves while working with
the university. They want more and more
information for their own self-education."
Much of the LAKEWATCH educa-
tion effort looks at how human activity
affects lakes, Canfield said, and allows
LAKEWAl'CH field director Sandy Fisher looks through water samples collected all over the
state and stored in walk-in freezers in Gainesville. More than 100,000 water analyses are
completed each year. Photo by Thomas Wright
Working with the Delphastus pusillus,
a small predatory black beetle not much
larger than a speck, Osborne and Mana-
tee County horticulturalist Geri Cashion
are testing several control methods for
commercial nurseries in the state.
One of their most recent endeavors is a
"banker plant" project in which a plant
that's infested, say with whiteflies, is in-
troduced into a greenhouse. These pests
attract beneficial insects, such as the
Delphastus pusillus, that feed on the white-
flies. What's unique about this method, the
.ilcentrir -.., i rhir crhe hi r. plat c in hn
n11'\ce in[r- .I nrur.i-r\, Lrccnh ll- h i- here
bencL il Ir I Tire tf 'c r l\ s ir.u- u nd .nd ir
Sick ,trhur plunr pc'[t
Bcai.t-c rhcc-'L *ri.a'ni-i d nI r b, .rhcr
ElUniologist Lance Osborne of the L'FI
IFAS Central Flo.riid Research and
FJdit.lon Ci'el i .-i ; popka Qties i leia
thmit n rimilag.cd by tthilelhes Ph.i.. h.,,
i.i; IL r,'1 ..i L I ...' Ru 'h T1',.rI,., "', n, I,
|i ..llli ';.i ,l l ll l ls i Il.in.. i lili l t[llit ii rh I r)I t.'
phLi ', rhcrf ] i > .t irfi.'r 1, [c firri.r in-.iu -
tAl r,.Ir It thL. .r(T ll-,,n .r1'i.C r K i
-pr.i cd. tlih h,.,r plint i.1t1 b. r i .i
anrI rhcr 1. rri,,n ilrii ir i', i, r' brine_'
Il., ck rin',iec
"The .eneti. i.il- i.,r miii t thi l
p .int, ftln.m inkii-,' ,,r ,r. rfii ,' i itlm i i ,r
tutinr. u-c," ik t. 1'ht iin .iddirm tfh.t 'ci -
cfr.l uitnirf' riL in N .1 i t (- *unit.\ uLt'c
"I .rIkcr-pl -,ir .,, i nm .t -1 4 Iun11 ', 2
irnkL' II'n +, n.' r pr. -.Nc],_ni,
Ari:z.na, Calitrnia and New Mexic_
Because chemical efforts to control the
whirtetl hare been \iruall\ inefftcrtive,
Tll-.or and his assciartes begin lp'plying
weekl.v ippli ntion ,-,tr the powder-like in-
secticidal f uneus rt hibiscus bu.hcs grow-
ine at his nurser\, Fr ,m the nu t recent
data gathered, hC and Ca;hiln found rh
procedure effcriic in contr, ling %ihite-
tiles, but inconsistent in controilling
aphids, another common problem th it
plagues the nurserN industry.
"IPM- is ,'ill in it, mtancy, so; ue can't
judge its ettccn i.enevs 100 percent." Tay.
Iur said. "W-e do- know that chemical,
work onl\ for :. u long, and many time-
hull rbjcli 'lni.,t i itl-.i .0ir -t hey aren't re-registered 1-,4 the federal
LLl Iri illi \L Iii llrl iii'i.L [I iu\eLernment It's better r et take .i
iproacti\ e appri 'oach to working % ith in-
k. Il-in i ,- .r i kIrh h c c l .c a t prob lem 1."
inr -ir in N1 in.i k- 'tint, t initi, ate ahi onrt aid that m.ny i Jdividuals
F.l, pr ,ram- rlh., r -., *th r p-, It least thnik IiPM is 0o.lutioifor every problem,-
. \it pcr c, 'nrlr .1I 'e don't &iaht to create those kinds
\\,.rkmin %ith tirce, Tail.r --t R.ilph f unr4 i. rstiie'lae in, IPM has b
T1I'.,r Nur-crl 4 h rLc nrlI rct sdJ aa .tm~.ana-ed imnnsivelI to he eftectit-.
e'p rtrilu rit.,I in l. ri .. h .i t i ..r t, i..u u e.,there are rmdny varnablcs in..
r,,ll\ *ccurrinc Ili.,n i., it hli .( il-t, ,t ~:, tL4 v. s*.'I .sad.: "X'e 'need taijo- w
. iUt r hi',,., htil, a I"-r dirt ha.b Ahicchl PM approaches. can heimrer~ated.
L lu-ed inll. n- .I dJ,,1 .l.,r .-t dJ iiin .ue t, tge InthZ bverall pest managemei' .
l.1iri 11 d 'ir, ni1., nr.TI if'p IF I Fil ,rl.la,. program .
-, ' --
-rAaeT eate l c i senrie to susfairv,_state streams
'1 CrEi wcoaol breezes'nd cold streams as head of LAKEWATCH, a statewide
t,-the:hal lfdWf NewEngland:;AqarLy program that reaches citc:ens how to
l'spec.tfo flrthe see unspoiled water,*Cntor the-water quality of their lakes.
.t..la..d. life's calling R''ifield, who joined LF's Instituce of
of Florida Food and gpculrurlAc iences in 1979,
47 acts as direcrtO n a ,W1hzLeer basis hLm-
ere self. "I'i more of a shepherd and the vol-
unteers are'daing tR eLwork."
"lt r" rfield's tutelage, the
IAKfEWAT".HE- fl s ~growing. More than
-Flo-~iians in -unies "rake the
= eAr 40( 'I`--. -' prog ram
e popular that mshy poten=
eh a airing lig fWor
a lot-of problems over the
qgf lici or 'itefuture-
Id said."By irup-
a lrw gre andare
eisnte's lakes for
3 147 f"is Mote
eer Monitor, a
-. -- '-
* *^ #
UF/IFAS limnologist Dan Canfield heads Florida LAKEWATCH, the largest lake-
monitoring program in the country. "I'm more of a shepherd and the volunteers are doing the
work." Photo by Milt Putnam
for public input. Often, when agencies
develop lake-management plans, the
public gets left out. Now, many are pre-
pared with sound research and education
from UF/IFAS, to participate in manage-
Many times when there is no data avail-
able, blame for lake degradation is pinned
on the most visible possibility a nearby
citrus grove, for example, or some agricul-
tural operation. In order to find solutions,
said Fisher, "we must first define and un-
derstand the nature of any problem.
"We want citizens to state what they
want from their water bodies and what they
object to," he said. "We want to show them
what they can do to maintain their lake's
attributes, whether it be for fishing, for
swimming, for water, whatever they want.
Then, we want to teach them the science
Big State Returns
In 1990, the Florida Legislature appro-
priated $215,000 a year for LAKEWATCH,
recognizing that lakes have considerable
financial, commercial, and even aesthetic
and historical importance. That figure in-
cludes the salaries for Fisher, two field bi-
ologists, two chemists and a research assis-
tant. Funds also come from the Department
of Environmental Protection under a con-
tract to UF from the Water Quality Assur-
ance Trust Fund.
The Southwest Florida Water Manage-
ment District has kicked in funds, along
with private citizens and UF/IFAS' SHARE
program. Cities and towns and homeowner
associations have also provided support by
offering facilities for meetings and for stor-
ing water samples. Some LAKEWATCH
volunteers even have formed management
teams and received additional state alloca-
tions to advise regulatory boards on lake-
In the past, the federal government has
been hesitant to fund citizen water-moni-
toring programs, preferring professional as-
sessment programs, Fisher said. Today, how-
ever, volunteer data has proven to be
reliable and the EPA has urged states to
By funding a volunteer assessment
program, Florida legislators were wise
and thinking of the Sunshine State's
future, Canfield said. Not only is there
an immediate and cost-effective return
on their investment a free volunteer
labor force 1,000 strong the state's
lakes also generate tons of revenue
Sandy Fisher travels all over Florida teaching
volunteers how to monitor lakes. Photo by
through waterfront property values
which add to the state's tax base.
In addition, lakes also bring in user fees
generated from boat licenses and commer-
cial and recreational fishing licenses. In
1987, for example, freshwater commercial
fishing fees brought the state $750,000. In
1990, according to statewide statistics, rec-
reational freshwater fishing licenses
brought in $8 million.
Businesses also derive income gained
through boat sales and gas, not to mention
fishing equipment and refreshments. In
1992, over 700,000 freshwater fishing li-
censes were issued. The Game and Fresh
Water Fish Commission estimates these
fishing enthusiasts spent approximately
$1.4 billion in fishing-related expenses,
showing that when lakes dry up, so do the
Finally, said Fisher, LAKEWATCH also
brings in the kind of revenue for the state
that won't ever have a price tag.
"You are involving the citizens of
Florida in a hands-on, very practical way
and that is important, too," Fisher said.
"As our population continues to grow, we
are all going to have to take a role in pro-
tecting our natural resources. With di-
verse groups supporting the
LAKEWATCH program, I think we're
certainly on the right track."
Extension Programs Offer
Oyster boats silhouetted by a Gulf Coast sunset, tropical groves
lining back country roads, pristine ponds spanning acres in the Pan-
handle these images are unique to Florida's special environment
and may offer opportunities for sustainable agriculture, a vital sup-
port for the future of rural communities in our state.
In the 1980s, there was increasing interest in local economic devel-
opment in rural communities as these areas suffered economic decline.
According to David Mulkey, a University of Florida professor of re-
gional economics, national and international market and political forces
affected employment in the agriculture and natural resource industries,
and many of these concerns continue in the mid-1990s.
The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences' Cooperative
Extension Service is working to develop sustainable rural communi-
ties in Florida. Rural areas need assistance in developing alternative,
sustainable sources of economic activity.
"Extension programs are assisting rural areas in identifying and tak-
ing advantage of local development opportunities that encourage
community and economic development and community strategic plan-
ning," Mulkey said. "Resources in local areas can be utilized effec-
tively through community programs aimed at providing local employ-
ment opportunities and increasing incomes, thereby broadening the
growth potential for the area."
Such alternative, sustainable sources of economic activity served
by UF/IFAS and the Extension Service programs include shellfish
farming in Levy County, tropical fruit production in Dade County
and the aquaculture industry in Calhoun County.
One way Levy County's Extension office is helping to sustain its rural
communities is through shellfish farming in the Cedar Key area. In 1991,
Levy County's Board of County Commissioners contracted with the state's
Department of Labor on a $3.5 million job-training project for dislocated
workers. The demonstration program trained a number of local residents
in Dixie and Levy counties for the start-up of commercial hard clam
culture. All aspects of the commercial culture of hard shell clams was
ing and business
The focus of the
project was to pro-
vide an intensive
process for training
from Levy and Dixie
counties. The Co-
operative Extension Harriet Smith, preside
Service was heavily
Service was heavily clam farmers associate
involved in the
extension clamming pi
training program, "People tell us these a
along with the UF's
along with the UFs they've ever had," Sm
Sea Grant program Thom Wrigh
which continues to
provide valuable in-
formation for the farmers. Marjorie Davis,
project director for the shellfish program and
administrative assistant for the Extension
Service, said 175 fishermen were enrolled
in the initial educational program. Of those,
138 have been placed off Levy and Dixie
counties with 4-acre farming leases in the
Gulf of Mexico.
"Each of the shellfish farmers has to nur-
ture the farms diligently, just like on land,"
Davis said. "Providing there are no disas-
ters like hurricanes, a 4-acre lease can eas-
ily support a family of four."
Currently, the Extension Service is
continuing to assist the shellfish farmers
by helping them obtain new leases for
cultured hard shell clam production.
Among the advantages of this alternative
source of economic opportunity are low
operating costs and marketability at-
tributes, including a fair estimate of the
number and size to be harvested and the
desirable appearance of the distinctive
"notata" markings and coloring. The
clams can be harvested year round and
are farm raised through a rotating crop
system just like on land.
"Practically all of the money our farm-
ers make stays in Levy County," Davis said.
"And that's millions of dollars, not just a
Harriet Smith, president of the Cedar
Key clam farmers association and a li-
censed wholesale dealer, graduated from
the program in
1993. She said the
people the opportu-
nity to make a liv-
ing on the water.
Also, the clam in-
dustry is very im-
portant to the local
economy as it
brings in more rev-
enue and provides
"People tell us
these are the best
clams they've ever
had" Smith said.
t of the Cedar Key "Cedar Key clams
n, graduated from the have an increasing
gram in 1993. reputation as a high
the best clams quality product.
h said. Photo by That's good for fu-
ture growth in our
South Florida agriculture has seen its
share of trouble in the last few years, includ-
ing destruction at the hands of Hurricane
Andrew, fierce competition from foreign and
domestic growers and increasing rules and
regulations. However, there is a light at the
end of the tunnel as Dade County's Exten-
sion Service continues to help its local farm-
ers by providing alternative and sustainable
agricultural opportunities, including tropi-
cal fruit and vegetable production.
Among the new tropical fruits that the
Extension Service is helping farmers pro-
duce are sugar apples, starfruit (or
carambola), lychees, passionfruit, guavas
and papayas. UF/IFAS' Cooperative Exten-
sion Service is working with the Depart-
ment of Agriculture and various fruit grow-
ers' associations in commercial production
methods of tropical fruits, product recog-
nition among the public and other aspects
of market development. Promotional ma-
terials have been designed for produce dis-
tributors around the country in an effort to
help them educate consumers about new
tropical fruits and how to use them.
Dade County Extension Director David
Holmes said his office recently has been
working with groups of farmers in the
Homestead area to increase the effective-
ness of the market phase of production.
More successful marketing efforts can mean
an increased market share and greater in-
come for local farmers as well as more rev-
enue and growth for the local economy.
"One way our Extension office can help
these local farmers is by acting as a go-be-
tween in turning market research into po-
tential solutions for the problems they
face," Holmes said.
Among the services provided to these
farmers by the Extension Service are tropi-
Catfish are the No. 1 food fish produced on Florida farms. UF/IIAS scientists try to educate
farmers not familiar with aquaculture about its economic feasibility. Photo by Milt Putnam
cal fruit production information, chemical
registration systems, educational brochures
and workshops on research and marketing.
Dr. Robert Degner, professor and director
of the market research center in UF's food
and resource economics department, is cur-
rently conducting market research for
South Florida farmers.
Degner said Dade County is unique be-
cause of its tropical environment, and grow-
ers need the alternative tropical crops in
order to continue profitable production.
From an economic standpoint, avocados,
limes and mangos are the most important
fruit crops grown in South Florida, but all
three continue to suffer from the impact of
Hurricane Andrew and intense competition.
"The number of commercial tropical
fruit growers in Dade shows great promise,"
Degner said. "The American consumer is
increasingly interested in trying something
new and exciting."
Degner said consumers' excitement and
interest in the availability of new fresh pro-
duce is fueling greater interest in tropical fruit
production by South Florida growers. The
ultimate success of their production depends
on the development of national markets and
getting the produce to the consumers in a
desirable condition. UF/IFAS and the Exten-
sion Service is continuing to work with the
farmers in reaching these goals.
"Dade County has an advantage over the
competition in that its fruit is top quality
and locally grown," Degner said. "There is
already a tremendous market in Florida for
tropical products because of the ethnic di-
versity of our population."
Marc Ellenby, owner of LNB Groves in
Homestead and a UF graduate, said the fu-
ture of new tropical fruits is good in the mar-
ketplace, and that UF/IFAS and the Exten-
sion office provides production assistance and
educational seminars invaluable to his tropi-
cal fruit production. He said that Dade
County needs to consider this area as its
greenbelt when it plans for the next century.
"We can make economically wise decisions
as farmers to keep this area green, and the
county should provide us incentives to do so,"
Ellenby said. "We are the goal they should
envision for agriculture in southwest Florida."
The Mitchell Aquaculture Farm assists
people in the Blountstown area by present-
Koger Price, Mike laylor and Andrew Lazur look at catfish at ULII/l1A Mitchell Aquacut-
ture Farm in Blountstown. Aquaculture is America's fastest growing agricultural industry.
Photo by Milt Putnam
ing them alternative crops like aquaculture.
Aquaculture, America's fastest-growing
agricultural industry, had statewide sales of
$73 million in 1993, which is an increase
of 35 percent from 1991.
Andy Lazur, an assistant professor work-
ing at the 40-acre farm, says he educates
farmers not familiar with the aquaculture
business about its feasibility.
"We're trying to utilize farmers' diver-
sity to maximize their potential income,"
Lazur said. "Some may have extra farmland
that could be utilized to its potential, so
we cater to their needs."
Lazur said they also help aquaculture
farmers improve their marketing strategies.
For example, rather than selling to the
wholesaler, we're helping them go to retail
markets, Lazur said.
"Catfish is the number one food fish pro-
duced in Florida farms, so we show the cat-
fish farmers different advertising methods and
urge them to sell the product directly to res-
taurants and small grocery stores," Lazur said
"We're also utilizing the different sizes
of catfish for specialized markets," Lazur
said. "Small catfish are mostly sought after
by those all-you-can-eat seafood restau-
rants, so we urge the farmers to deal directly
with these businesses."
The aquaculture farm is looking at alter-
native species for production, which focuses
on farmer diversification in rural areas, Lazur
said. Some of the different kinds of fish for
market are golden shiners, hybrid striped
bass, bluegill and even crawfish.
Lazur said they do a lot of initial feasi-
bility programs with a new species. For ex-
ample, they find out if a species is both bio-
logically and economically feasible for local
conditions. He said looking at the eco-
nomic and marketing issues up front shows
if there is any demand for the product and
if the business will be profitable.
"Each operation is different, so we're
involved with a lot of one-on-one help,"
He said the farm has scheduled work-
shops based on the farmers' needs and even
has an advisory group that identifies prior-
ity areas and looks at developing programs
that service these needs. Programs include
seminars with guest lecturers, workshops
and even tours of the aquaculture farm.
"The facility provides a unique opportu-
nity for individuals to learn about aquacul-
ture because it involves hands-on instruc-
tion," Lazur said. "Our facility lets people look
at the different equipment and the produc-
tion systems, which has been a tremendous
help to the farmers because it shows them
what's involved with the business."
Scientists Battle It Out
to Protect Florida's Food
By Jani Farlow Spede
Armed with high-tech bacteria testing
devices and proposed food-safety regula-
tions, this country is waging war against
new emerging bacteria salmonella in
eggs and poultry, Vibrio vulnificus in oys-
ters, listeria in dairy products and meats and
E. coli in ground beef. But the United
States Centers for Disease Control and Pre-
vention report that bacteria are gaining
ground in the foodborne fight.
Foodborne illnesses infect 10 million
people in the U.S. annually, and in 1989,
the CDC also reported that 9,000 people
died as a result of complications associated
with foodborne bacteria.
"Our country now has more people with
compromised immune systems than it has
had before," said Mark Tamplin, a micro-
biologist and food safety professor at the
University of Florida's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. A high percentage
of Americans have diabetes, AIDS or liver
problems, or they are pregnant, infants or
elderly putting them at higher risk of get-
ting a foodborne illness.
And while Americans are be-
coming more prone to
the bacteria causing
illnesses, the bac-
teria are becom-
ing better sur-
vivors of our
strains of E. coli, for example, are becom-
ing more aggressive and have developed a
resistance to our antibiotics," said Fred
Leak, a UF/IFAS animal scientist.
Whatever the cause for the increase, a
specially designed team of scientists at UF/
IFAS knows that the pathogens' progres-
sion must be stopped.
The UF/IFAS food safety and quality
team is made up of experts in all areas
of food safety and quality, including
poultry, beef, dairy, citrus, vegetables,
seafood and pesticides. These scientists
are examining every step of food produc-
tion from the farm to the consumer's
table and they are striving to control
Florida's food quality not just with high-
tech research, but also with innovative
Starting with the Very Young
For years, children have learned the
three "R's" in school, but many of them
never learned the five "C's" of food safety.
"Children need to know how to keep
food clean, cold, covered and cooked prop-
erly and how to prevent cross contamina-
tion," UF/IFAS food safety and quality
team leader Tamplin said.
And what better way to reach children than
through the latest electronic craze of interac-
tive multimedia. The USDA is funding
Tamplin to produce an interactive CDROM
(called a CDI) created by production special-
ists at UF/IFAS Educational Media and Ser-
vices, replete with rap music and hip sound
bites designed to keep children interested.
"We call it "The Killer Cookout, Not!"
and it is an innovative way to teach kids
how to buy, prepare and store food safely,"
said Audrey Wynne, senior art/publication
production specialist at UF/IFAS Educa-
tional Media and Services.
"The children use interactive com-
puter commands to make choices about
food safety, and the computer tells them
if they are right or wrong and allows
them to make alternate choices if
Tamplin said the CDI will be used by
secondary health and science teachers na-
"We've also had a lot of interest from
the Florida Restaurant Association and sev-
eral fast-food chains," Tamplin said. "A
CDI is an excellent way to train restaurant
employees on how to prevent the spread of
He said that about 77 percent of all
foodborne illnesses result from contami-
nated food consumed at restaurants, and
restaurants have a great need for a training
tool like a CDI that can be used anytime a
new employee arrives.
Preparing Florida's Food Producers
for the Future
Because Florida has such a large number
of restaurants, food services and fruit, veg-
etable, meat, poultry and seafood produc-
tion and processing facilities, there is a tre-
mendous need for Florida's food-handlers to
be trained in the new food safety regulations
being developed by the USDA and FDA.
UF/IFAS scientists are helping food han-
dlers prepare for future regulations by teaching
them a prevention program called (HACCP)
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points.
HACCP (pronounced "Ha sip") was
originally designed in the 1960s by NASA
to prevent astronauts from getting sick with
foodborne illnesses while in orbit, Leak
said. It's a method of finding high-risk ar-
eas, or places where food safety may be com-
promised, in any system of food production.
"What we are doing with a variety of
Extension programs is taking food safety to
higher levels," said Fred Leak. "Not only
are we training managers of beef, poultry
and seafood production facilities to imple-
ment the HACCP program, but we are pre-
paring them for the future."
I 1i1 i
Food safety expert Mark Tamplin and his children Courtney, 8, and Erin, 12, view an interactive CDROM created by UF/IFAS graphic
artists to teach children food safety at school. "It's an innovative way to teach kids how to buy, prepare and store food safely," said Audrey
Wynne, senior art/publication production specialist with UF/IFAS Educational Media and Services. Photo by Thomas Wright
Leak said major corporations like Kraft
Foods and Burger King have taken an avid
interest in the HACCP programs that UF/
IFAS is teaching. He also said that he ex-
pects future federal regulations for food safety
to continue growing, until, one day, it may
be mandatory that every food-handling fa-
c ilirt, including restaurant,, have a HACCP
certified food-.sater e\xprt n staff.
"B- rteahing the HACC'P programs
now," Leak said. "\\ e are making h~ad safer
in Florida, and we are also putting Florida
food producers ahead of the Lame When
the time comes that the USDA is saying
everyone must do this, people will be turn-
ing to Florida as an example of where
HACCP has been working successfully."
Making Florida's Food
the Safest and Freshest
The UF/IFAS food safety and quality
team also h.t- .imong it-s bohitci\t c to dis-
cover better procedures tor maintaining the
quality of food.
L F/I FAS horticulturist Jeff Brecht is re-
searchine how a variety of fruits and veg.
etables will fare during storage in a con-
trolled atmosphere (CA), x here
temperature and levels of oxygen and car-
bon dioxide are maintained to slow quality
losses, including decay.
"CA storage can be a way for Florida fruit
producers to significantly spread out their
marketing period," Brecht said. "This has
become extremely important now that we
are getting South and Central American
produce imported that competes with our
own ability to produce crops."
Brecht and UF/IFAS scientist Steve
I he tL'I-tl.-\ f I,-d a, ity team is examining every step of food production from the farm to
the coi-inimcl 's taihlc Photo by Thomas Wright.
Sargent are researching the ef-
fects of CA storage on
carambola, or star fruit, to see if
the fruit can be stored without
browning, as well as mango to
see if tree ripe fruit can be suc-
"This could have a huge im-
pact on Florida's producers
ability to extend supplies be-
yond the normal limited har-
vest season," Brecht said, add-
ing that the post-harvest
market season of apples and
sweet onions are two CA stor-
age success stories. ,
Brecht said that he and
Sargent are also researching the
possibility of using CA storage as
a way to keep produce fresh while
it's being transported on ships.
"Marine shipment is much
less expensive than air trans-
port," Brecht said. "So if we can
just keep the produce fresh dur-
ing CA storage for a period long
enough to transport it on a ship,
we can expand production and exportation
of produce in Florida."
What People Don't Know WILL
Perhaps the most puzzling piece of the
foodborne puzzle for Mark Tamplin is the
low consumer concern for these hazardous
bacteria in food.
Although a majority of foodbore ill-
nesses are caused by microbial contamina-
tion in homes, surveys show that many con-
sumers are more concerned about chemical
additives in food than the greater risk posed
by microbial contamination.
"Just look at the gaining popularity of
organic produce," Tamplin said. "Consum-
ers love it because they perceive even mini-
mal amounts of pesticides to be a huge
But what they don't realize, he said, is that
because some pesticides are designed to elimi-
nate harmful organisms like fungi, organic
produce can have a higher risk of carrying
natural toxins than non-organic produce.
"But in most cases, the consumer
need only properly wash, store and cook
food to kill any harmful bacteria and
prevent any bacteria from growing,"
Tamplin said. "So we just want to find
Fred Leak teaches
beef, poultry and
seafood a safety
"We are preparing
them for the
future," Leak said.
"We are putting
ahead of the game.
Photo by Thomas
an many wa\v as possible to get that
mnicsge to people."
By training county Extension agents
and pr.., idlin; them with numerous re-
sources including a constantly up-to-date
food safety CDROM the UF/IFAS food
safety and quality team is extend-
ing their knowledge to the people
who need it.
"People in Florida have gotten
the n li.- ,-I. to contact their lo-
cal county extension office for in-
formation on just about every-
thing," Tamplin said. "So we are
taking advantage of that link by
making sure our agents have the
The UF/IFAS team provides
regular in-service training semi-
nars on everything from pesticide
application procedures on food
crops to proper canning methods
of fruits and vegetables. \
"We do everything we can to
prevent the spread of foodborne
illnesses, and we are preparing our
county extension agents to re-
spond to all requests and situa-
tions," Brecht said. "The bottom
line is we want people to be safe, .
not sorry." f
student Alicia Daniel
and Professor Jeff Brecht look at a
flask containing sugars and starches
from the tropical pumpkin that have
been separated using ethyl alcohol.
Photo by Thomas Wright